Wanted: IT SkillsA recent article on CertMag.com focused on the dawn of the computer-based testing industry. For those of us actively involved in career certification testing, how we got here may seem irrelevant. It’s not. The “Wanted: IT skills” section sheds some welcome light on why ongoing IT training in your chosen discipline is your ticket to a prosperous career. It all started with the market need for qualified staff in the IT industry…
Hiring the wrong staff is incredibly expensive and the cost of a “bad hire” is a multiplier of the employee’s salary—a drain on time, productivity and morale. Employers want to know how to verify a candidate’s technical skills for full employment candidates in the per-hire term. Certification is the answer—verifiable proof that an individual has an established level of competence with a specific skill set. For IT companies, certification meant an established pool of IT talent to draw from as their needs evolved, alleviating the need for third-party sales, support and service. The availability of pre-qualified talent brought qualified implementation, service and support in-house at a time and cost savings that IT companies found attractive. Make no mistake, ongoing IT certification is crucial to not only professional advancement, but even getting hired in the first place.
This theme and requirement is not only true today, but the demand for ever more complex skill sets that keep pace with the development of new technologies and processes has created a skills gap that the market is still trying to diminish. As technologies are developed, accepted by the market, and implemented, service and support are still required, but with less likelihood that the exact skill set is already on staff. Employer-provided training fills some of the need, but career advancement may lie with a different employer or through contract employment opportunities. Proving you know what you know and are able to perform to standards is how you got on the “certification treadmill”. Keeping an eye on emerging trends, staying informed of market developments and continuing education and certification are your tools to maintain a market-relevant and desirable skill set and advance your career.
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